It’s More Than Just Stuff

I was a little tardy in getting my Monday morning column posted this week, but for good reason, as Leigh Ann and I traveled from Asheville up to Morris Plains, New Jersey for the annual Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms symposium and gala fund raiser.

Now while it might not make sense to write about an event that has already taken place, this past weekend illustrates a lesson we all need not forget.

Arts and Crafts is more about people than just objects.

Just as a Saturday Evening Girls Pottery vase has more meaning to us when we know it was decorated by a young woman living in the slums of Boston, hoping and working to learn a skill that would enable her to escape the bonds of poverty, leaving our own homes for a day or two and attending an Arts and Crafts event makes our love for the Arts and Crafts style even more meaningful as we make and renew friendships with people who share our passion.

Our weekend started off well, with a flight that was on time, very little road traffic leaving the Newark airport, and a friendly staff at the Marriott not far from Craftsman Farms. Even so, we could have opted to stay in our room that night, but instead we met some Arts and Crafts friends for dinner, sharing experiences that most of our neighbors and family members would find uninteresting. Had the restaurant staff not encouraged us to leave, we might still be there.

The Saturday morning seminars and updates on various Arts and Crafts historic sites was fascinating, but I could not help but notice how reluctant everyone was to break away from their personal conversations to take their seats for each session.

And the Saturday gala, featuring both a live and silent auction, a lively band, and updates on the activities at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, was a beehive of buzzing conversations as people chatted with their tablemates, huddled together near the silent auction, and nearly ignored the band as they continued to find old friends and make new ones throughout the evening.

All of which brings me back to my point: just as the more we know about the craftsmen and craftswomen who made the pieces we live with the more we appreciate them, the more of our fellow Arts and Crafts enthusiasts that we know, the more renewed and enthused we become.

We make it a point to keep our Calendar of Events updated here at this website, so please refer to it often, for we strive to include events of interest to you from Pasadena, the site of the Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend on November 11-13 to Nashville, where the traveling Newcomb Pottery exhibit closes on November 6th.

And, of course, coming up soon will be the 30th National Arts and Crafts Conference at the historic Grove Park Inn overlooking Asheville, NC, where you can be sure to come away with a renewed appreciation not just for the furniture, art pottery, metalware, textiles, and art of the movement, but for the people from across the country who share your passion.

Until next Monday,

Let yourself get excited!